Eaglehawk coach Travis Matheson will ease his squad into their work before the Christmas break, with the Hawks playing group appearing to come back in good nick at their first pre-season training session.
Around 40 members of the Hawks squad, including half a dozen under-18 players, were in attendance at Canterbury Park on Monday night.
Matheson said the Hawks won't be going too hard in the pre-Christmas period.
"We just eased the boys into it with a 45-minute session," he said.
"The focus for the first few weeks will be on getting a few miles in the legs and tick a few boxes, but it won't be to the point where we're burning buys out before we roll into the new year.
"We'll slowly build up our sessions in the lead into Christmas, then ramp it up in a six to eight-week block when we return."
Matheson hopes to get ten sessions in before the break but will keep plans flexible with Christmas parties on the horizon.
He said the strong shape the boys returned in will allow the Hawks to focus more heavily on skills this pre-season.
"They've come back in good shape, and with our list demographic being pretty young, they look after themselves in the off-season, so that ensures we can focus more on gameplan," Matheson said.
New recruit and 2018 premiership player Jonty Neaves and star defender Charlie Langford are Melbourne-based and will train with a group of fellow country players in the same boat this summer.
Ruckman Neaves and Harcourt's Brayden Frost are the Hawks' prized recruits so far this off-season and will fill the hole left by Connor Dalgleish.
Michelsen Medallist Noah Wheeler and star forward Lewin Davis have also departed, while former St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary has retired.
Matheson said while the club is still searching for recruits, the departures give opportunity within the four walls of Canterbury Park.
"It opens up a couple of opportunities for players to evolve and take the next step in their footy journey," he said.
"Guys who might have been established at senior level in a certain position might look to add another string to their bow.
"But like all clubs at this time of year, we're still hoping to bring in a couple more players, and our list will continue to evolve right up to the start of the season."